Is it really worth it...

<p>Heard something this morning on the news, it use to be that the cost of a year at college was a low percentage of what a student's first year of income would be after graduation; today a graduate is lucky to make in a year, the cost of first year tuition/housing at some schools.</p>

<p>Is the cost benefit there? We sat down at breakfast this morning to discuss this with our daughter as she contemplates going off to college after she has received her first college acceptances. We have saved over the years, only we were way off on our estimates....we have $25,000 per year put away for her (who would have thought 15 years ago $100,00 would not be enough for 4 years of college). </p>

<p>She was recently accepted at University of Oregon as an OSS...the estimated cost for the first year "total budget" per her financial award letter: $41,751. We unfortunately (or not) make "too much" to qualify for any financial assistance..although we don't make not enough to make up the difference (we have another son also in college). She was offered loans but more importantly, does she want to strap herself with loans to make up the difference? Is the education really worth it? Per our discussion, she is really not sure either. Not that she will not go to college, this is a given...the only thing is, it will not necessarily be where she wants to go. Mind you, this tuition was for a "State" school, we haven't even see an estimated cost for the private colleges she applied to!</p>

<p>I know I will get the comments: "have your kid go to an in-state college", "go to community college", or "live at home" (and she probably opt for for onf those options) ....but this is not my is just so sad that a kid who has worked so hard has to be put in this position....and not just my kid but every other kid in college. </p>

<p>Thanks for letting me vent....</p>

<p>You raise an excellent point. The cost of college has jumped a lot faster than inflation (and faster still than average salaries / wages), and OOS public schools are especially unaffordable to many (most?) families without significant financial aid. It’s one of those things that people just have to accept; if you want to go to college, you pretty much have to shop around a lot. Have several schools on your list that you know you can afford (most public schools, at least in where I live, cost well under $25,000 even if you live on campus) and several schools that are give good financial aid and scholarships. </p>

<p>You did a remarkable job saving up so much money for your daughter and I wish her and your family well in whatever decision you make in this situation. Hopefully your private schools will have generous aid policies and be able to help your daughter out with the expenses!</p>


<p>You should outline her relevant stats, and people on CC might be able to give you some advice.</p>

<p>There is a thread currently on this sight entitled OOS that will cost a NYer no more than a SUNY.</p>

<p>You might want to check that out for some cost efficient ideas.</p>

<p>No, it is not worth it to go to an OOS public school when she could certainly get an equivalent education in-state. The cost of a good education is still affordable; that does not mean that a kid from a family of limited means can afford to go anywhere s/he desires.</p>

<p>College, like just about any other expenditure, comes down to needs vs. wants. </p>

<p>Do you need a degree to reach X goal. Probably. Do you need a degree from this one specific school that will end up costing you more than you can afford to reach that goal? Probably not.</p>

<p>If your kid for some reason does not want to go to the state university in your state, there are some out of state, state universities, where the OOS rate is still reasonable.
I don’t think it is reasonable for her to expect you to pay $40,000 a year to go to Oregon State. Harvard yes, but not Oregon State. I agree with the previous poster that in such a case, she should just go to the local state university (hopefully, the flagship). Check out the following:</p>

<p>University of Mississippi
University of Oklahoma
SUNY Binghampton
Louisiana State
University of Minnesota</p>

<p>I was checking out this route myself, until my kid “crossed me up” by getting super high SAT scores. </p>

<p>There are probably others.</p>

<p>But out of state and in state varies hugely from state to state.</p>

<p>Some kids are paying as much, in state, than other kids would pay in a different state for out of state. That’s sticker price. If you factor in scholarships, it is conceivable to pay less at some out of state colleges than paying in state in an especially expensive state in which to go to school. We saw several schools that discovered would basically give out of state kids, in certain circumstances (generally for good achievement) the in state tuition, though some were pretty coy about it and don’t come right out and say so on the cost of tuition page. But they do. And not all of these are completely obscure schools, either. I believe you could get through the University of Oklahoma, even out of state, for pretty close to that amount. (in state costs are insanely cheap compared to Texas schools. Texas schools are expensive compared to some, but better than Michigan, at least.) And as far as state schools go, I thought it was just fine as far as the quality of the school. If my daughter had been able to get into the theater program there I would have had no qualms at all about the quality of the education she’d have gotten there.</p>

<p>I agree that it’s pretty sad that a hundred grand won’t get someone through a state school. I have no idea what schools are like in your region - maybe you can find an alternative that is closer to what you have saved OR that wants your student enough to offer them more aid. Good luck. It is damn hard these days and kids have to make some tough choices.</p>

<p>And personally, unless a kid is going into a field that is certain to be lucrative, I would NOT advise heavy debt. In fact I think it’s a huge mistake, bordering on tragedy in some cases.</p>

<p>edit - cross posted with Floridadad!! And all of those schools he mentions happen to be schools we checked out too (except for the SUNY, too far for us) and they are absolutely NOT in the least bit sub par schools - they are some of the best in the country.</p>

<p>~also check out Missouri. It’s an excellent school and in the same price range. The midwest has some educational bargains.</p>

<p>Is it really worth it?? Well…really only YOUR family can make that decision. The “finances” of college are a very personal family decision. Some families are able and willing to pay the full costs of attending a private college or OOS public (costs can be very similar). Some families cannot. Only YOU can decide what the threshold is for your family.</p>

<p>I will say…your daughter isn’t being punished for working so hard. It is very possible that she could qualify for merit aid at some school(s) which would reduce your costs.</p>



<p>ITA. It’s a shame that the cost of an education at an OSS or private college has gotten so out of hand. You have saved way more than the average person, so count yourself smart (and perhaps lucky). My husband and I saved an equivalent amount and were shocked to realize that many of the schools my son applied to were over $50,000 a year. There is no way we would ever take out loans for the difference (or let our son). We only have one child and the means to cover the difference if it came to that (it would have meant some short-term sacrifices on our part) but fortunately, son was accepted to the very competitive honors college at our flagship and decided that is where he wanted to go at an annual cost less than what we had been paying for his private college prep school every year for the last 12 years. We got lucky (though he got some pretty good scholarship offers from several private LAC that would have placed them within our saved amount. also).</p>

<p>He knows he wants to go to grad school and maybe even medical school, so we have plenty of opportunity to shell out more money. We decided to take the long-view on his education and going in-state was the right way to go in his situation.</p>



<p>Could not agree more! My husband is a CPA who has tons of clients (including physicians) who regularly lament the fact that they are into their thirties and even forties and still paying off massive school loans. Most say it wasn’t worth it.</p>

<p>Snapdragonfly had some very good points. My DS received school scholarships that would have made two of his OOS school acceptances much cheaper to attend than any of the 3 in-state U’s he was accepted to. Our state doesn’t offer much at all in merit scholarships. Many OOS schools offer wonderful merit scholarships. Some OOS schools also offer merit scholarships that convert OOS tuition to in-state prices. </p>

<p>Good luck with the process.</p>

<p>adding to floridadad’s list</p>

<p>University of Mississippi
University of Oklahoma
SUNY Binghampton
Louisiana State
University of Minnesota</p>

<p>UAB (University of Alabama Birmingham) Tier 1 university
oos costs:
Fall 2011 First-Year Freshmen Estimated
First-Year Freshman Out-of-State
Tuition and Fees* $14,256
Books and Supplies** $1000
Meal Plan $450 - $3,894
Total $15,706 - $19,150
Residence Hall (Blazer/Camp Hall)*** $5,200
Grand Total $20,906 - $24,350</p>

<p>NMF full ride</p>

<p>oos merit:</p>

<p>Blazer Elite Scholarship
Based on academic achievement (28-36 ACT and at least 3.0 GPA)
Blazer Gold Scholarship
Based on academic achievement (26-27 ACT and at least 3.0 GPA)
Blazer Pride Scholarship
Based on academic achievement (24-25 ACT and at least 3.0 GPA)</p>



<p>I’m sorry but it sounds more like you/your daughter did not do your due diligence before she applied and accepted a spot at this school. </p>

<p>It took me 5 minutes from the time I read your post to see that the COA for OOS was 40k and the largest scholarship that the school gives is 8k. Even if your daughter would have gotten their top scholarship, the COA would have been 32k, putting you out of budget based on your budgeting 25k a year in college expenses. Unless your daughter can through long and has a good rushing game where she would have been recruited, this school should have never been on the table because it was out side of the budget that you had set.</p>

<p>I see from your other post that you are a California resident. The COA in-state at the UCs is ~29k a year. While this is still more than you would have liked to have paid, your daughter could have taken a Stafford loan to cover the difference or you as a family could have looked at ways to lower the cost.</p>

<p>Our responsibility as parents is to let our children know how much we are willing to pay or borrow for college. If you are not willing to go a penny more, then you need to let them know that upfront before they become enamored with schools that have a 40K price tag.</p>

<p>If she is just at the beginning of the college application process, congratulate her on being accepted somewhere (as this has now taken the pressure off as to whether or not she can be admitted to college). </p>

<p>You can look at schools in the same stat range to build a list of schools in the UC system. </p>

<p>You can look at school where her stats may be a bit higher and she could be a good candidate for merit money. </p>

<p>You can follow NYC’s lead an post a thread looking for schools on the west coast where the COA OOS will be ~25k.</p>

<p>all the best</p>



<p>I notice you said acceptances…plural. I hope that in the mix you have some good options for your daughter that are affordable for your family. My guess is you do.</p>

<p>Congratulations for getting a head start on this…it will make her senior year much more pleasant NOT having to do more college applications. I’m hoping that she was accepted to some schools with better affordability for your family.</p>

<p>Has she considered any of the Cal States? Perhaps some of them would be more affordable. In addition, there are west coast schools where she might garner some merit aid if her stats are sufficiently high enough for those schools.</p>

<p>OP - Good job getting college apps early - that’s amazing your D has an acceptance already. You still have lots of runway to research options and find more colleges to apply to, til you hone in on the best combo of fit/finances.</p>

<p>I’m a little confused.</p>

<p>Is your D a senior in high school? She already has a financial aid package from a college???</p>

<p>NO…an OOS public is NOT worth that much money. And, UO is not affordable. </p>

<p>If your D has the stats, and she’s a high school senior, then have her apply to some schools were her stats will get her a generous merit scholarship. </p>

<p>It doesn’t sound like you’ve been advised well. Even if you qualified for aid, an OOS public is not going to give you much beyond federal aid of Pell and student loans. </p>

<p>OOS publics have to help instate kids who have lower costs. OOS publics charge higher rates for a reason…to bring in more money. It wouldn’t make much sense to then cover the high costs with need-based aid. </p>

<p>I see that your D is going to graduate early and may be starting school mid year. That’s a recipe for bad aid and no scholarships.</p>

<p>I suggest that she graduate and apply for NEXT FALL admission. Better chances for better merit/aid.</p>

<p>Take a look at some of the colleges on this list. The article details “Return on Investment” for colleges:
[What’s</a> Your College Degree Worth? - Businessweek](<a href=“]What’s”>Bloomberg - Are you a robot?)</p>

<p>The top of the list are schools such as MIT and CalTech, but it does list many other state schools.</p>

<p>You will need to do your research VERY carefully if your daughter is planning to enroll as an incoming freshman in the spring term. There are some colleges that give NO merit aid to students enrolling for the spring term. </p>

<p>Another thing to consider is her college course sequences. Most colleges are set up to have students begin course sequences in the fall term. Enrolling in the spring term may not actually help your daughter with courses she needs to graduate…in order…and in a timely fashion. Just saying!</p>

<p>I would make a list of the characteristics she likes in the colleges she has already chosen…and then search for affordable options having those characteristics.</p>

<p>Oh boy, I knew this would happen…</p>

<p>We know there are lot’s of alternative’s out there. In fact, my D applied to University of Oregon because she though it was a WUE tuition school…after she applied we looked at the list of schools and it was not on it but she was accepted nevertheless…thus my post. She is a fairly reasonable kid and doesn’t really want to go into debt and if so, she said she would save it for graduate school…so she will probably NOT become a Duck!</p>

<p>She is also on the situation where she has been looking at schools whom allow freshman to start in January (spring) since she is graduating from HS early and her options are limited. We are in California and none of the UC’s accept spring admits (yearly tuition is close to $30K in-state) and she has applied to San Fransisco State where she will presumably be admitted (yearly tuition $25K in-state) but she really isn’t sure if she wants to go there. But at this point she is lucky because she will have some options or she may decided to wait to start school until the fall and apply to some UC’s.</p>

<p>She also seems to be leaning to staying on the west coast so although we appreciate the east coast suggestions, I can’t really see her going that far from home. She has applied to other WUE schools in Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Arizona, so we will just wait and see. Those of you who reside in states with reasonable in state tuition, consider yourself very lucky because here in CA they just keep cutting classes and raising tuition and by the time she graduates from a CA university (if she goes to a state school) tuition could be up to $40K!</p>

<p>My post was not about the haves and have nots; the stupidity of applying to an OSS or the necessity to go there; or how she should go to an in state school…</p>

<p>…just the fact that it shameful for a our kids to be put in a position to need to go into tremendous debt to get an education…and whether in the long run it is a good idea, and despite our planning we should let our kids do so.</p>

<p>^^^^…just the fact that it shameful for a our kids to be put in a position to need to go into tremendous debt to get an education…^^^^</p>

<p>Sorry, thats is just not true…You CAN get an education without going into debt,but perhaps not at a school you desire…should EVERY school be affordable to everyone? Considering you likley have saved more then many others, your situation is NOT terrible…However, to complain about your child not being able to afford her dream school without incurring debt sounds like sour grapes…Best of luck</p>